Rest For The Weary


The Spirit Calendar

A Weekly Devotional from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ


August 07, 2017


This week's author is the Rev. Tamara Moreland, Northwest Central Regional Minister for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30 (NRSV)

'Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Reflection:

“Temperature: iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it” is the temperature warning screen appearing when an iPhone exceeds a certain temperature. This message appeared on my iPhone 6 recently after I left it in direct sunlight on a very warm day while planting some beautiful and colorful geraniums in my yard.
 
Upon noticing this warning, I immediately brought the phone inside and placed it at rest on the cool, kitchen countertop. Of course, the phone was placed away from the sun and heat. While waiting for the iPhone to recover, the importance of taking a vacation or time away from work and other commitments to cool down and be refreshed came to mind. The tendency is to ignore our own internal messages informing us that something is malfunctioning. How often do we allow ourselves get to an overheated place of exhaustion before resting?
 
We are not advised but admonished to keep Sabbath and to rest from our labors (Exodus 20:8). It is my firm conviction that resting well is living well. Friends, living well and resting well, allows time for refreshing, renewal, and spiritual revival. Jesus extends an invitation to the weary for rest (Matthew 11:28). He provides precept and example of the importance of taking time away. This provides opportunity to pray and rest. “Jesus went out to a mountain side to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him.” (Luke 6:12-13. See also Mark 3:13). Jesus has set the example. We are to follow. As I leave for vacation and make plans for my Sabbath next year, I invite you to renew your commitment to rest. Bon Voyage!
 

Prayer:

 God, thank you for filling us with your sustaining light as we take the time to rest and live well.
 
Special Prayer Requests:
  • Those grieving for 3 soldiers after a U.S. military place crashed off the shores of Australia on Aug. 5;
  • the family and friends of Rev. Dewey Frank Fagerburg, Jr., retired UCC pastor, who died on July 14; and
  • the family and friends of Rev. Joseph O Shaw Jr., retired UCC pastor, who died on June 20.
Continuing Requests:
  • Those grieving after a U.S. military place crashed in Mississippi, killing 16 people, on July 10;
  • the families and friends of those found in a truck in San Antonio in extreme heat, on July 23;
  • the family and friends of the Rev. Virginia Black, retired Interim Minister, who died on July 22;
  • those grieving or effected by flash flooding in Arizona where 9 were killed on July 15;
  • Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
  • the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
  • the people of South Sudan where nearly 1 million people are facing famine;
  • John Polglase, husband of the Rev. Betsey Polglase, Pastor of the Columbia Congregational Church UCC, who has chronic pulmonary disease;
  • the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
  • Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
  • Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
  • Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
  • the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
  • our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
  • the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
  • the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
  • this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism;  and
  • those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
 
To be added to the prayer list, please send an email to Drew Page at: drewp@ctucc.org.

Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:

Orange
Orange Congregational Church

Suzanne E. Wagner - DT
Bryan Campbell - MM
 
Oxford
Oxford UCC Congregational

 
Plainfield
The First Congregational Church of Plainfield

Stephen M. Finlan - SP
Gordon C. Johnson - PE
 
Plainville
The Congregational Church of Plainville, UCC

Abby Mae Gackenheimer - DT
 
Plantsville
Plantsville Congregational UCC

Paul F Goodman - IN 
 

The Spirit Calendar: August 07, 2017 , by Tamara Moreland.